Colombia Seeks UK PR Help

The Colombian government -- which is dogged by controversy over its human rights record -- is seeking help from British PR firms to help promote a "modern" image amongst journalists and politicians. Colombia's deputy head of mission in the UK, Andelfo Garcia, told PR Week that "the stereotype of Colombia is not right. We are a growing country with a good story to tell. We need someone to help us reach out to the UK media, its politicians and its businesses." The UK-based Colombia Solidarity Campaign and other groups have shone the spotlight on Colombia's poor human rights record. In the U.S., Colombia has hired Johnson, Madigan, Peck, Boland & Stewart and Andrew Samet from Sorini, Samet & Associates to help lobby the U.S. Congress to pass the U.S. - Colombia Free Trade Agreement. In early April, Colombia terminated its contract with the PR firm Burson-Marsteller, after taking exception to comments by its CEO, senior Hillary Clinton campaign adviser Mark Penn.